msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/5/2009 5:01:12 PM ET 2009-08-05T21:01:12

The National Guard says about 131,000 former and current Army Guard members' personal data may be at risk because of the theft of a contractor's laptop.

Those who who could be affected will be notified with an official letter, said Randy Noller, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau.

The laptop, owned by an Army Guard contractor was stolen July 27, Noller said. The computer holds personal information on soldiers enrolled in the Army National Guard Bonus and Incentives Program. The data includes names, Social Security numbers, incentive payment amounts and payment dates

The National Guard Bureau has set up a special Web page, and the Army Guard has a toll-free call center available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday at 877-481-4957.

The Web site provides steps on how to check credit reports, how to guard against identity theft and who to call if a guard member believes any fraudulent activity occurs with his or her personal information.

Noller told military newspaper Stars and Stripes that officials don’t have any indication yet that the information has been used to open new credit cards or go after soldiers’ bank accounts.

“At least for now, it just looks like somebody wanted to steal a laptop,” he told the newspaper “There’s no evidence that anything has been compromised, but we didn’t want to wait to notify our members about the possible threat.”

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